Our View: Thumbs up, thumbs down
Thumbs down to the disgraceful actions on the baseball diamond last week that led to the punishment of eight Yuba City High School junior varsity baseball players. In addition to being kicked off the team, the players will serve a five-day suspension, and there may be expulsions. The discipline leveled by the Yuba City Unified School District came in the wake of last week's brawl between the Honkers and players from the Del Campo team. There is a great deal of blame to be spread here; the coaches, the umpire and the parents involved need to look in the mirror as well. However, judging by the widely circulated video of the brawl (online at advarsitysports.com), the Y.C. players were the on-field aggressors, and thus they deserve the punishments meted out.
Thumbs up to the apparent turnaround in attitude by those involved in addressing the Sutter County animal shelter issue. In the wake of a highly critical grand jury report last year detailing distressful conditions at the Yuba City facility, positive changes are occurring. While plans for a new shelter costing between $5.2 million and $5.8 million are still being worked out, roughly $140,000 has been spent on short-term upgrades to improve conditions, and volunteers have stepped up to offer assistance with medical care and animal adoptions. Recently, Sutter Animal Services Authority's directors and staff visited shelter facilities in Sacramento and Stanislaus counties and came away with ideas to implement locally.
Thumbs up to two new positive additions in the Yuba-Sutter area: the "Becoming American" exhibit at the Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County and Friday Night Live in Marysville.
Several hundred people turned out at the Yuba City-based museum last weekend for the opening of "Becoming American: The Story of Pioneer Punjabis & South Asians," believed to be the first permanent exhibit of its kind in the United States, according to organizers. The exhibit provides historical details about the first pioneers to leave Punjab for America — including those who located to the Y-S community. Go to www.punjabipioneers.com for information.
In the category "what's old is new again," we see the revival of Friday Night Live Youth Live Center, where teens can hang out and enjoy live entertainment and other activities in a safe atmosphere. First opened 17 years ago, Friday Night Live was shuttered from 2010 until last weekend's reopening. The center at the Historic Packard Library is now open to high school students on Saturday night. Organization members hope to soon open doors Friday nights to middle-school students.
What a difference three years makes? Apparently not enough. April is National Distracted Driving Month, and although we've witnessed campaign after campaign pointing out the dangers of cellphone use while driving — talking or texting — many drivers hold on to this reckless activity. Teen girls are twice as likely to engage in this behavior as their male counterparts, according to a recent report by the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety. Awareness campaigns are well and good, but how about a little role-modeling by parents and adults? Are teens really talking or texting more than their elder counterparts, or are grown-ups just more savvy at disguising this careless behavior? Maybe both? Regardless, it's time we starting behaving more like responsible adults, if not to avoid a $179 fine, then to save a life. Thumbs up for awareness campaigns, but a big thumbs down for the ongoing need.